Tag Archives: open resistor

HP 8569A Spectrum Analyzer: two mysterious resistors

Again, some repairs of a 8569A spectrum analyzer. This time, no problem at all with the front selectors and contacts that break all too often, but with the CRT showing only a defocused vertical line. Some probing around – the analyzer appears to be find but something wrong with the deflection circuit? This is on the A5 assembly, and with no extender board around, quite difficult to probe, and a bit dangerous because this assembly is using +120 VDC. Any short may damage the supply, and any touch may give you a shock. So better exercise some care. By soldering wires, I was able to trace the signal and it seemed to be OK up until to some of the last amplification stages of the X amplifier. Maybe something wrong with the transistors – no these are good. Probing around on the board, checking all values of components close-by: the 75k resistors (fairly large sized 0.5 Watt resistors) are high-resistance, both seemed to have failed at the same time – strange. Eventually, this is becoming a quite frequent failure, already the 5th case or so over the last few years of open high-ohmic, say, 100k and about, resistors that are subject to 100 V or similar “high voltage” usage.

With no suitable 75k resistors available, I went with a combination of 82k parallel to 880k, resulting in 75.01k, close enough. And the 82k resistors that need to carry most of the current are really good old low inductance transistors suitable for such 100 volts service.

The repair, it is not particularly beautiful, but it works and at no cost, with available parts. Finally, some hours of test to make sure there is nothing else at fault in this unit. All good, test passed.

HP 8569B Spectrum Analyer: sweep issues on larger spans, A18 full multiband assy issue

A quick repair story from a kind contributor (Martin, you can find him at www.mjbrf.com).

(1) I have a unit that generally works OK but has stopped displaying spans above 2MHz/div.

(2) I still get a display on the higher frequency settings e.g. span/div frequency etc etc are displayed at top. However, no trace is displayed.

(3) If I manually sweep using the 100 MHz test signal / comb generator or external frequency source I can still identify the peaks of the signals in the higher span/div settings.

Note that there is a “NARROW” signal used in these machines, which will switch state when span is set above 2 MHz/div. So, best start with looking at all the circuits that are affected by the NARROW signal.


The problem was with the A18 (Full multiband assembly board).
When I scoped out the “over sweep blanking signal” (TP1) the signal was high as soon as the unit was set to >= 5MHz/div.
The signal into the board was OK though.

Anyway, I checked U3B opamp and the signal on the output was stuck high on all the higher ranges.

After inspection of the schematics and downstream circuitry ……
* Removing the multiband board allowed viewing of the higher span/div settings, without the full / multi band and over sweep blanking functionality.
* Isolating the over sweep blanking connector pin from the A18 board to the backplane allowed all ranges to be viewed, but without the over sweep blanking function. Note: The display still looked OK without the over sweep blanking.

Anyway, I changed U3 and U7, but still no luck with the operation. Then I re-checked all diodes and feedback resistors around the opamps.
On inspection, I found that the feedback resistor R29 for U3B (see schematic below) had failed open circuit and was effectively putting U3 into an open loop configuration and thus saturating the output.

The resistor has been replaced and it all seems OK at the moment.

8569b a18 full multi-band assy

This is a quite uncommon fault, on a low-power resistor – maybe a singular fault, or a lot of defective resistors, who can tell for sure.